The symptoms of TUBERCULOSIS disease do not only cough, but may vary depending on which part of the body is infected. Therefore, it is important to recognize the overall symptoms of TUBERCULOSIS disease, so that the disease can be anticipated as early as possible.
Tuberculosis (TBC) is a contagious disease caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria. These bacteria spread through the air from person to person. So when TBC sufferers cough, sneeze, or spit, those who are nearby will probably inhale this bacterium and are infected.
TBC bacteria generally develop in the lungs, but these bacteria can also attack various other organs in the body, such as lymph nodes, kidneys, spine, brain and nerves, joints and bones, through the bloodstream or the lymphatic system. This condition is more common in people whose immune system is weak.
TBC Disease Symptoms
TB bacteria that grow in the lungs can cause some symptoms of the disease, such as:
- Long lasting persistent cough (more than 2 – 3 weeks)
- Cough bleeding
- Chest pain when breathing or coughing
- Shortness of breath
In addition, the symptoms of TBC disease can also include:
- Fever and chills
- Night Sweats
- Not an appetite
When TB occurs outside the lungs, the signs and symptoms may vary, according to the infected organs. The following are examples of TUBERCULOSIS disease symptoms outside of the lungs:
- Back pain in the spinal TBC
- Blood urine on renal TUBERCULOSIS
- Swelling of lymph nodes when exposed to TUBERCULOSIS glands
- Abdominal pain in case of TBC bowel
- Headaches and seizures when exposed to TB of brain membranes
- Bone and joint pain, until unable to move, when TB bacteria attack bones and joints
TB bacteria can attack anyone, especially in Indonesia that belongs to the region of the TBC endemic. However, people with a healthy immune system are able to fight the TB bacteria well, so that the symptoms of TUBERCULOSIS disease do not appear even though the bacteria exist in the body. This condition is called latent TB.
While people with weakened immune systems, such as sufferers of HIV/AIDS, diabetes, severe kidney disease, or malnutrition, are more susceptible to active TB, which is a TUBERCULOSIS bacterial infection that raises various symptoms of TUBERCULOSIS disease as described above.
Preventing TBC Disease Symptoms
The following are some ways to prevent TUBERCULOSIS disease symptoms:
1. BGC vaccine
If you’ve never experienced TUBERCULOSIS and have never gotten a small BCG vaccine, you can get this vaccine to prevent TUBERCULOSIS. However, of course after you consult a doctor first.
2. Healthy Lifestyle
If you do not have any symptoms or have been declared cured of TB, always apply a healthy lifestyle to strengthen the immune system, so that the risk of disease recurrence of TUBERCULOSIS decreases.
3. Antibiotic prevention TB
If you are diagnosed with latent TB, you may be given a TB preventive antibiotic for 9 months. Drink all medications regularly until the treatment period is complete, so that TB bacteria do not become active and contagious.
What if I am experiencing TB disease symptoms?
If you experience symptoms of TUBERCULOSIS or are diagnosed with active TB, you have a responsibility to prevent the spread of this disease. Limit your contacts with others and wear surgical masks when you’re around others. Also, shut your mouth while laughing, sneezing, or coughing.
Taking antiviral drugs (OATS) regularly can cope with the symptoms of TUBERCULOSIS disease. However, it does not mean you can stop taking this medication after the symptoms subside. Drug consumption should be continued until complete, according to doctor’s instructions.
Most TBC cases can be treated until complete, especially if the doctor detects the symptoms of TUBERCULOSIS disease earlier. If it is late to be treated, this disease can lead to serious complications, such as permanent lung damage.
Therefore, immediately consult a doctor if you experience the symptoms of TUBERCULOSIS disease as mentioned above, to get the right treatment.